Commendation Paul Davis Award
A close re-encounter with Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery in Berlin led to the development of a design strategy at large, medium and small scale after a series of mathematically derived 'Miesian' prototypes.
The building, sited in one of the largest remaining voids in the city of Berlin, the ‘Topography of Terror’, is organized around the ruins of the former Gestapo Headquarters found on site during excavations and the void left in the space between them.
A documentation centre, media library, exhibition space and auditorium are seamlessly incorporated into the topography, retaining its character as 'void'.
A plinth on the ground level gradually leads the visitor to discover the ruins and programmatically filled underground levels.
Isabel Pietri Medina
Isabel’s portfolio and final proposal, which is titled 'Mies Immersion', may be appraised at various levels. If anything it is either (or all) of the following: an elegant sprawling underground gallery and research centre, sited on a memorial ground in the heart of Berlin; a whimsical, magic box, made of laser-cut card or scored paper; a new take on the architectural legacy of Mies van Der Rohe; an abstract piece of mathematical sleight-of-hand; a series of majestic public stairs piercing through walls and light wells, and so on. The work touches on several interdependent themes, some clear, some esoteric, without ever loosing its austere integrity.